back to article Hey, over here, I'm talking... Academics help computers figure out which way you're facing when you speak

To improve how people talk to machines in environments with multiple network-connected devices, boffins at Carnegie Mellon University in the US have devised an acoustic measurement technique for determining the direction a person is facing while speaking. In an email to The Register, Karan Ahuja, a doctoral student at CMU, …

  1. Dippywood

    "Which could be useful for AI assistants as they'll know whether you're barking orders at them or the kids or the TV"

    What's the point, not one of the above will pay attention anyway!

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Trollface

    RotM

    Now they'll be able to triangulate our position via sound.

    Great work.

  3. ChrisElvidge

    Directional?

    I thought the idea (I don't have any) was that "Hey, Alexa" or "Hey, Google" was designed to tell the device who was talking to what.

    Shouting from another room. Will that work?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Directional?

      > "Hey, Alexa" or "Hey, Google" was designed to tell the device who was talking to what

      True, but they're preparing the day when every device and appliance in your house has Alexa/Google built in, and a carelessly tossed "Hey Big Brother" would cause your whole household to reply.

      (I don't have one of those things either, but I guess that soon one will have to jump through hoops to avoid constantly sharing his life with the Big Brothers. "1984" was a business plan, not a fiction.)

  4. Chairman of the Bored

    But what about voices under stress

    Let's say for sake of argument a punter is screaming their safe word while 'loud banging sounds' are also present. Would that change the frequency distributions enough to fail?

  5. Francis Boyle

    So which way

    does Captain Picard have to face when he just wants to turn on the lights?

    Finding the relevant Douglas Adams quotation is left as an exercise for the reader.

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